Reader CasEjonz, reacting to Hal Bodley’s “Roberto Alomar is no first ballot Hall of Famer” rebop, notes that the writers are way worse when it comes to this stuff than even I suggested. Take the complete lack of unanimous Hall of Fame votes:
To this point, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan are the closest to 100% at 98.8%. The fact that some voters can not see an obviously worthy player, makes
the notion of even “first ballot” distinction moot. If they cant get
the obvious, then how much merit can we put behind their selections
whether it is a first timer or a fifteenth timer. I can’t wait for
those same writers to argue why Ken Griffey Jr and Derek Jeter aren’t
worthy of an automatic vote, but will argue for some fringe guy that
they got a Christmas card from.
Excellent point. Willie Freakin’ Mays was not a unanimous vote. Mickey Freakin’ Mantle was not a unanimous vote. A voter’s discretion is a wonderful thing and I’d be loathe to mess with it, but if you have guys like that staring at you on the ballot and you can’t pull the lever, you’ve forfeited the franchise, my friend.